In 1893, an English civil engineer by the name of Edward William Barton-Wright went to work for the E.H. Hunter Company in Japan.
While there, Barton-Wright studied jiu-jitsu and Kodakan Judo, before returning to England in 1898.
Once in England, Barton-Wright took what he had learned of those two Japanese martial arts, and combined them with English pugilism to form what he called "The New Art of Self-Defence".
While teaching this pragmatic art, Barton-Wright met Swiss Master-At-Arms Pierre Vigny, who introduced Barton-White to the French art of Savate Dèfense and Vigny's own variation of Canne d'Arme which used walking sticks and umbrellas.
Barton-Wright called this early mixed martial art "Bartitsu" (a portmanteau of the words "jiu-jitsu" and "Barton") and taught it to a great many people in London -- including women. Which was definitely a first for the time.
Unfortunately, E.W. Barton-Wright wasn't very skilled as a promoter, and although he is rumoured to have continued training and development of Bartitsu until the early 1920's, for all intents and purposes Bartitsu ended in 1903 with the closing of Barton-Wright's Bartitsu Club in London.
Bartitsu might have vanished forever, except that an author -- who occasionally published articles in Pearson's Magazine alongside the articles of Barton-Wright -- happened to pen some books about a bloke who liked to solve mysteries and who was well-trained in an art of self-defence called "baritsu".
We don't know if "bartitsu" was mis-spelled because of copyright issues, or mis-remembering, typographical error or a goof-up on the part of the editor -- but we do know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous detective was thoroughly acquainted with the eclectic mix of savate, judo, boxing, wrestling, cane-fighting and street-scrapping that is the legacy of E.W. Barton-Wright.